Archive for the ‘News’ Category

March 3 2010 | Anita Silva posted at Abitare.it March 1

How Urbanization can be defined and understood in relation to Iraqi Kurdistan?
When we discuss of urbanisation we look at the combination of economic, political and social factors that determine the growth and expansion of cities.  We observe the ways in which these elements interplay, detect which are the main driving forces that produce the physical transformation of space and understand what the role is that people play in shaping their surroundings.
The study of urban development in Kurdistan is very interesting as it is deeply interconnected with its political history.  The past three decades have seen in the Region a rapid expansion of the urban fabric and infrastructure.  Hawler is a striking example in this respect, with an estimated annual population growth of 4,35% the city has boomed from about 90,000 inhabitants in 1965 to an approximate 1,3 million in 2010.  Until mid 1970s the majority of Kurdish population was spread around the villages mainly leading a rural life, occasionally using the cities as vital knots of a larger network.  The 1980s village clearance campaign conducted by the Ba’ath regime and the following wave of destruction during Anfal caused a massive mobilisation of people who were forced out of their lands and either relocated in the mujamma’at in the plains or compelled to move to bigger urban centres.  These events caused a dramatic acceleration in the process of urban growth and shaped the face of contemporary Kurdish territory. (more…)

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March 2 2010 | Bernadette Baird-Zars
<i>From Panoramio courtesy ammarakkad</i>

One of Aleppo’s main squares is in for a major overhaul. According to two Arabic-language news sites* and word of mouth, the current mayor, Moeen Chibli, has stated that work will begin immediately, ostensibly to “discover the pathway of the river Qweik.*”

But it seems more complicated than a mere daylighting of an urban stream – there are plans for tunnels, flyovers, and (word of mouth) pedestrian bridges. (more…)

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Housing Crunch in Iraq..

With an average of four people per room in some areas, Iraq seems to be leading the pack in household density. While personally I enjoy small houses full of people (they remind me of home!), an average of four folks to a small room is pretty cramped. Steve, a MIT Meydan contributor, plans to return to real estate development in Iraq after graduation – I’m waiting on his comments for illumination. How much does the NYT article reflect reality? How aggressive will developers be? How tough are the planning restrictions?  — Bernadette

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